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Thread: Carbs and Crossfit Recovery page

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    JenCat's Avatar
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    Carbs and Crossfit Recovery

    Primal Fuel
    I start CrossFit a couple of weeks ago. I am having a hard time recovering from my workouts. I am not new to working out. I have been lifting on my own for a while, but I've slacked a bit on the cardio stuff. I've been going 5 days a week, alternating strength training and metcon days. I am used to working out in the morning, but my classes are a 7:00pm. I am having a hard time "feeding" my workouts. I don't eat before noon. I can't seem to stomach food much before then. My first meal, typically around 1:00, is usually a 4-egg omelet. I may have something small in the afternoon and a banana before working out. I get home around 8:30 and will typically have a snack - maybe Greek yogurt, a sweet potato, etc.

    I am tired all the time - physically tired. I'm not particularly sore, but feel a bit "beat up." I suspect this is nutrition-related, rather than the workouts themselves. Is adding more carbs the solution? Does that mean keeping the fat a bit lower? Suggestions?

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    Abu Reena's Avatar
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    I'm not going to bash Crossfit, but it's pretty intense and you might be creeping into the overtraining arena. You need to build in some rest days and some easier days, particularly if you are lifting heavy. Five days of lifting and MetCons is probably too much, or, at least too much right now. Why not cut down to 4 days/week, try to get more sleep and eat a bit more. I'd add a sweet potato or rice on lifting days, and possibly on metcon days as well. Experiment a bit.

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    I'd do 2 strength and 1 metcon day.... rest of the time walk, do yoga, swim, rest, etc.

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    I agree with the advice to eat more calories and carbs on workout days, with the carbs mostly after your workouts (the insulin will bring amino acids/glucose back into the muscle cells and aid recovery). Also people report having good success using , BCAA's or whey protein prior to workouts and L-glutamine after workouts. Creatine is another supplement that is documented to increase energy for lifting and to improve recovery. I haven't tried it yet but I plan to give it a go. I also agree with cutting back on the number of workouts per week to 3 or 4 rather than 5. That could prevent psychological as well as physical burn-out.
    I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

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    You seem like you're jumping in. It takes time to build up to a lot of workouts. You could also be training too hard. The elites doing crosssfit will throw in some periodization and will not go 100% all the time, rather it would look like a workout schedule a fighter or athlete would do. They would spend most of the time training, but not 100%, and when in comes the time where they need to peak they will ramp up training in order to hit peak performance. If you train 100% all the time you will burn out. Plus not even the elite crossfitters can train 3 days on 1 day off all the time. You got to listen to your body.

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    JenCat's Avatar
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    I've been doing the 5 days because I feel like I need to get my money's worth, but I was worried about overtraining. The coaches don't think that should be a problem the way they schedule the WODs (M/W lifting, T/Th MetCon, F Goat Day - skill work), but I am a bit skeptical. Part of the problem may actually be that I came in fairly strong (strict pull-ups, etc.), and they want me to think about competing. That's not something that I had considered going in, but you never know. I do think I need more calories, but I'm having trouble "scheduling" them. Late, late breakfast doesn't leave a lot of time to get more food in before working out, and I hate to eat a ton before bed.

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    MikeEnRegalia's Avatar
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    You're beating yourself up 5 days a week - and then you suspect that your feeling beaten up may be related to nutrition?

    CrossFit is not healthy IMO. Maybe not if you do it once a week - or twice (one lifting session, one metcon session), but that's not what the CrossFit trainers would recommend, or is it?

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    MikeEnRegalia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenCat View Post
    They want me to think about competing. That's not something that I had considered going in, but you never know.
    What do *you* want to achieve? There's no such thing as functional training per se - you can only define functionality with regard to an particular goal or purpose.

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    JenCat's Avatar
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    From what I understand, the typical schedule would be 3 days on/1 day off. I can't do Saturdays, so that would leave me M/T/W/F. Maybe that really is enough. Or perhaps I really need to scale back on one of those workouts each week; just warm-up, do some stretching, and work on form. Again, I'm not new to working out and used to do 6 days/week of fairly rigorous training. I cut way back in the last few months. I do think that nutrition is a big part of it. Just not getting enough in.

    My goal is to improve my body composition. I have not lost a single pound in two + years of being primal, which is okay, but I would have liked for my clothes to feel looser. According to the body fat scale at the gym, I'm at 27%. This shocked me. I know they are not accurate, but this seems pretty high. I would like to be stronger, have more energy, and hit 23% on that stupid scale.

    Just another of many experiments over the course of this primal journey. Trying to figure out how to make it all work!

  10. #10
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    Get a fitday account and track your cals and c/f/p for a couple of weeks. I think you will be surprised. I am doing that and realise when I was being strict I probably wasn't eating enough. Plus I have been cycling carbs 25g on rest days and 100g on workouts. I do feel better already but it's only early days in this experiment.

    As for the workouts, you only enjoy then if you are properly fuelled and you can tinker with the days. Nothing is set in stone.

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